Posts Tagged ‘manufacturing automation’

3 Benefits Automation Delivers to Proactive Suppliers

Friday, January 10th, 2020

3 Benefits Automation Delivers to Proactive Suppliers

Robots are not new to manufacturing and it’s clear that there are many benefits to incorporating automated processes, yet some barriers still prevent many manufacturers from investing in automation.

One of the major hurdles is the cost of capital necessary to automate enough functions to truly improve manufacturing capacity. Another obstacle is the time required to plan and execute a worthwhile automation project.

For those who can clear the financial and time hurdles, however, the benefits of automation stand the test of time and money, particularly in operations that involve a high degree of routine tasks, such as loading, unloading and moving parts and performing basic inspections.

Here are three benefits automation can deliver when it’s implemented properly.

1. Robots Can Add Tremendous Precision

Robots with fully articulating joints and vision systems that have sensory motion can feel pressure and determine how much force is needed to handle parts with far more precision than loading by hand.

These allow for precise programming and reliable repeatability – two things that are crucial in many manufacturing operations.

2. Robots Can Support Higher Production Output

Robots can perform multiple operations at once, such as loading and unloading parts from one machine to another and moving parts down an outbound conveyer belt with no human interaction, which enables employees to focus on more complicated tasks.

Robots with learning mechanisms that allow them to use artificial intelligence can identify more efficient ways to work over time. In addition to loading and unloading parts, many robots can orient parts and read numbers through high-definition recognition technology, speeding up the material handling processes that drive greater output.

Many robotic cells support lights-out operation, running between shifts and across breaks to provide higher productivity.

3. Robots Can Support a Safer Workplace

An average truck load of metal castings can weigh up to 40,000 pounds. With the help of robotic cells, several people can move hundreds of thousands of castings a week without experiencing the traditional lifting and carrying tasks that put stress on their bodies.

“People are working smarter, rather than harder,” said Tom Seccombe, general manager at Seco Machine, a leading advocate of automation in manufacturing. “This has helped us to reduce the risk of injury by a significant degree. We let the robots do the monotonous tasks and, more importantly, the heavy lifting.”

Employees can remain more alert by focusing on managing the technology, rather than exhausting themselves with traditional, tedious tasks performed more safely and precisely by robots.

Robots Work With Employees, Not Against Them

“There’s this fear that robots are going to put people out of their jobs,” said Tom. “But in reality, it’s helped us shift around jobs and hire additional employees to fill more desirable roles.”

The pairing of artificial intelligence and human intelligence makes for a powerful team. It’s a team that can save suppliers and customers time and money in the long run.